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favorable environment for locusts to breed aT

nd thrive, including ●properly moist soils for them to lay eggs in millions before migrat●ion and the consequent lush vegetation to eat, according to the FAO●. Climate change was to blame for the unusually plentiful rainfall ●on the African continent. Keith Cressman, the FAO's senior locust f●orecasting officer, further identified the recent cyclones as anoth●er factor behind the locust crisis, saying the past 10 years saw in●creased frequency of cyclones in the Indian Ocean. A swarm of dese●rt locusts invade parts of Mwingi Town in Kitui County, Kenya, Feb.● 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yu) AGGRAVATING FOOD INSECURITY FAO offici●als said the locust outbreak has worseS

ned the food insecurity in Af●ri4

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ca, citing some 239 million people in sub-Saharan Africa G

sufferin●g from hunger and malnutrition, and over 20 million having already ●been in food crisis in Horn of Africa countries. UN Undersecretary-●General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, ●Mark Lowcock, said the current situation "is really, really challen●ging." "There are currently over 30 million people in the affected ●countries, who are severely food insecure now. Ten million of those● people are in the places affected by the locusts. Unless we get a ●grip of this in the nY

ext two or three or four weeks, w2

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  • e would have ●a serious problem,1

    " he stressed. To avoid a famine, University of N●aU

    irobi professor Evaristus Irandu said the government may have to u●se the scarce foreign currency o

  • to import food products, adding thaD

    t● poverty will increase in the country. "All our iC

    nvestment is going● down the drain. The sorghum and millet crops were about to mature ●and we wo7

  • uld have harvested next month," sai1

    d Nathan Njiru, a farme●r in Tharaka Nithi, whose lJ

    ivelihood largely depends on selling sor●ghum to Nairobi's beer brewers. In Ethiopia, the locusts8

  • have so fa●r consumed the vegetZ

    ation on more than 65,000 hectares of land, inc●ludA

    ing coffee and tea crops that account for about 30 percent of Et●hiopia's exports. A Moody's Invesb

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